Most people are looking for ways to better themselves. They go to the gym, they read books, they watch their diets — all with the purpose to advance their personal development. For many years, cannabis has been thought to be detrimental to personal development by the establishment making claims that it “makes you slow” or “lazy” or “unmotivated”. However, while marijuana may produce these effects in some people, many others have discovered how cannabis can be a tool for personal development if used correctly.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the different ways you can use cannabis to accelerate your personal development. Please note that the following are merely suggestions on how to use everyone’s favorite plant to push themselves beyond themselves.
Stress isn’t a bad thing, but bad stress is! What’s the difference between good stress and bad stress? From Summa Health:
Good stress is short-term and it inspires and motivates you, focuses your energy and enhances performance. Bad stress, however, is the kind that wears you out, leaves you jittery and is harmful to your health. Bad stress, or distress, can lead to anxiety, confusion, poor concentration and decreased performance.
In other words, proper stress management is a key aspect of personal development. When your mind is gripped by stress, whether you have an upcoming deadline, bills to pay, or even suffering from relational stress, cannabis can give you a moment of peace to reassess your relationship with the stress itself.
Many people use cannabis to unwind at the end of their days. This allows them to unplug from the activities of the day and gives them space to relax. However, it’s important to note that smoking at any sign of stress would be detrimental to your personal development.
You want to wield stress like a weapon, using it to move you forward and letting it go when it begins to stifle your progress. There’s a delicate balance between the two, but with enough practice, you’ll learn to work with stress and not let it work against you.
PRO TIP: Don’t smoke cannabis at the first sign of stress, rather, sit in the stress for as long as you can. Become mindful of it, and figure out how you can naturally convert it into “positive stress”. If the stress becomes too much to handle, spark up a joint. If it’s late at night, any strain that will induce a body high would be preferable and throughout the day, you’ll want to work with more cerebral strains.
Finding Positivity in Negative Situations (Changing Self Talk)
Being positive doesn’t mean ignoring the negatives. On the contrary, people who are actively looking to improve themselves are constantly looking at their shortcomings to see how they can improve their performance. However, the difference between looking at your shortcomings and falling prey to negativity comes in relation to the attitude you harbor.
Negativity is a loop. If you begin to pull on one “negative thought or emotion” and give it your attention, you tend to reframe your brain to look for only negative things. It’s as Robert Anton Wilson said, “What the thinker thinks, the prover proves!”
In other words, your mind is primed to look for supporting evidence to any premise you establish. If it is “negativity”, the mind will find things to prove this position. If you victimize yourself, make yourself smaller than the situation, insult yourself for your shortcomings, etc., then cannabis can be used as a powerful disruptor.
It’s difficult to simply “stop being negative” and, thus, a bit of euphoria can go a long way. Cannabis gives you a few moments of “altered perception” that gives you the opportunity to break your mental cycles.
Once again, it’s important to use cannabis sparingly. Some people rely on cannabis to break the negative mental cycles, however, in the realm of personal development, you’ll always want to implement tactics that derive from internal mechanisms. For example, focusing in on your breath can also create enough mental space to switch your internal gears of perception.
In the case that you are stuck in a negative feedback loop, smoking some cannabis can provide you with a quick release from the mental cycle.
Dreaming and Being
In the world of personal development, establishing the “future you” is incredibly important. You need to have a goal to work towards. This means that you have to tap into your creative powers to imagine a future where you have achieved all of your goals.
Who are you then? What are your habits? How is your emotional state? What do you do daily? All of these questions (and more) begin to create an image in your head of what “success” looks like. Some people however, either find it difficult to utilize their imagination for this action or are too subjected to their current situation that even envisioning a brighter future becomes difficult.
Fortunately, cannabis can help here as well. If there’s one thing that most cannabis users can agree on, it’s that cannabis allows your mind to wander into unknown realms of the imagination. You begin to think in different terms and can use this to your advantage.
If you find it difficult to envision a future where you are straight up “killing it!” then you can use cannabis to help you bridge this gap. Simply spark up and smoke as much as you need to get good and high.
Make sure that you let go of all restrictions and then, using a pen and paper, just start writing out the future you that you would be very happy with. The future you that you consider to be “a baller”.
Once you have done this, read it again when you’re sober. See what parts really resonate with you and then try to envision you as that person. Invoke this future self into your present and begin to operate according to how “they” would do things.
It’s like Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” In other words, your problems can’t be solved by the way you are thinking now or in the past, but by the way that your future accomplished self would engage with it.
Cannabis can help you invoke this future self to begin to deal with the problems you face in the present.
There are many more ways we can use cannabis to improve our self-development. The three techniques discussed above can definitely help you achieve higher states of performance.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.